How to increase Testosterone levels naturally – Testosterone Deficiency in Men
According to a study by the European Association of Urology, there is a 20% prevalence of testosterone deficiency in adolescents and young males. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism demonstrated the generational decline in testosterone levels in males. According to this, there was about a 0.4% cross-sectional decline per year of age. A more recent study revealed “a highly significant age-independent decline in total testosterone in the first and second decades of the 21st century. The decline was unlikely to be explained by increasing rates of obesity.”. In short, there is a great amount of research work indicating declining testosterone levels in men across various cultures.
What is Testosterone deficiency?
The inability of the body to produce enough testosterone is called testosterone deficiency. The production of testosterone is controlled by the testes as well as a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Its production increases during puberty and is responsible for maintaining physiological and sexual well-being in men.
Broadly speaking, an individual having a blood serum testosterone level of less than 300ng/dL is said to be testosterone deficient. Although this is highly variable across different age groups and individuals, since a person having testosterone levels greater than the said threshold may still be testosterone deficient because of high SHBG (Sex hormone-binding globulin), a protein which binds free testosterone in the blood. This results in decreased levels of readily available testosterone.
Similarly, adolescents and young males have a higher testosterone requirement for their physiological well-being. In addition, the sensitivity for testosterone receptors varies across individuals resulting in a slightly variable potency of the effect of testosterone.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Testosterone deficiency?
Testosterone deficiency has several health implications, some of which are;
- Loss of libido (decreased sex drive).
- Loss of lean muscle mass.
- Tiredness and Chronic fatigue.
- Difficulty losing weight (increased body fat content).
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Lack of motivation and symptoms of depression.
- Decreased bone density leading to easy fractures.
- As testosterone is essential for the adequate development of male gonads which in turn leads to further deficiency in testosterone production.
- Decreased sperm count and fertility.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Delayed puberty.
- Lack of deepening of the voice.
What are the Causes of Testosterone deficiency?
Although a decrease in the level of testosterone is a normal part of the ageing process, it is influenced by several environmental factors as well as lifestyle choices. Some of the most important causes of lower testosterone levels include;
- Obesity – Increased fat tissue in the body leads to increased aromatisation of testosterone which is a process that converts testosterone into oestrogen.
- Environmental oestrogen mimicking molecules – Found in plastics and certain plant sources as well. These are classified as phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens.
- Alcohol and drug abuse – Increase the levels of the female sex hormone estrogenic as well as the stress hormone cortisol.
- Chronic stress – Increases the levels of cortisol which mostly counteracts the effects of testosterone.
- Testicular injury or infection.
- Genetic conditions – Such as Klinefelter’s Syndrome can lead to lower testosterone levels as well.
- Hormonal disorders – Pituitary gland disease or other hormonal disorders affecting the pituitary-gonadal hormone axis.
- Lack of competition and a sedentary lifestyle – Also shown to be responsible for a significant decrease in testosterone levels.
- Poor sleep hygiene.
- Insulin resistance and diabetes – Also negatively impact testosterone levels.
How to increase testosterone levels naturally?
The best natural preventions against testosterone deficiency are;
- Regular physical exercise – Studies show higher levels of testosterone achieved through exercises especially resistance training and heavy lifting. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is also helpful in optimizing testosterone levels. At the same time, physical exercise can also impact levels of testosterone negatively as well if it is excessive or increases overall stress levels (higher cortisol).
- Optimizing diet – A diet containing higher levels of fats, and fat-soluble vitamins especially vitamin D is highly effective in regulating testosterone levels. Similarly, certain minerals like zinc and magnesium are also highly effective. This involves a higher intake of red meats, fish, and oysters.
- Taking plenty of sunlight – Studies have shown the positive impact of sunlight on vitamin D levels as well as a person’s overall mood. Both of which impact testosterone levels positively.
- Take up sports – Competition has also been linked to higher levels of testosterone levels.
- Adequate Sleep – Regular uninterrupted night’s sleep of at least 6 hours or more is also highly important and not stressed enough. It is important to note that regularity and quality of sleep is the most important aspect of sleep hygiene.
- Address any medical conditions – Contact your doctor to optimally deal with medical issues resulting in testosterone deficiency.
- Lokeshwar, S. D., Patel, P., Fantus, R. J., Halpern, J., Chang, C., Kargi, A. Y., & Ramasamy, R. (2021). Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels Among Adolescent and Young Adult Men in the USA. European urology focus, 7(4), 886–889. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2020.02.006
- Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.112832